Adventures in Coffee

Have you ever noticed how seemingly simple things become absurdly complicated? 

Mr. R. recently stopped by a local Panera Bread for a little caffeine fortitude.  Entering the establishment, he took his place as third in the single line that awaited the next available of two registers. 

At one of the registers, a gentleman was trying to order his You Pick Two preferences but the cashier helpfully kept trying to inform him of all the other options available to him as a You Pick Two diner.  As the line waited. 

The other register became available and the two ladies in front of Mr. R. moved to place their order. That cashier said to the ladies, “You’re going to have to wait for them,” indicating the other cashier, and she walked away to go back to the drink station.   As they returned to the line, naturally Mr. R. insisted that they take their original place back in front of him. 

Eventually, Mr. You Pick Two was able to complete his order and the ladies moved to that register, while, almost simultaneously, a third register was opened, allowing Mr. R. to finally order his coffee.  His order was a double espresso, two cookies, and a baguette.  The cashier rang up his order and took his payment.  While she gathered his baked goods, she told the manager making the drinks that Mr. R. needed an espresso. 

“Actually, I ordered a double espresso,” Mr. R. interjected.

“But I only charged you for a single,” replied the Rhodes scholar cashier.   When the manager questioned her, she replied, “Yeah, he ordered a double, but I didn’t know how to ring that up so I just put it in as a single.” 

Like I said, how do things become so absurdly complicated?  Overly helpful, it seems, is as useless as unhelpful.  And when did it become acceptable to do what’s easiest for you rather than what the customer wants?  I can’t really blame the manager in this situation.  No matter how fabulous he’d like to make his store, he’s stuck with the employees he can get to work for low hourly wages. 

Why don’t young people have pride of workmanship anymore?  I suppose it isn’t actually their fault.  After all, it isn’t on the standardized tests.

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